In some family law matters involving children, there can be a dispute as to the paternity of the child in question. Disputes as to paternity can also arise in the context of child support applications, as the child support agency has very clear guidelines on who is and is not eligible for an assessment of child support.
In cases where paternity is in dispute, testing of the parties and the child can occur at approved testing laboratories throughout NSW (and Australia). The testing procedure is painless for the parties and the child, and involves a swab being taken from the inside of the cheek. In young children, the test is harmless and the child will often be unaware of the purpose of the procedure. In older children, some counselling or advice may be required due to the potential for stress or concern over the need for such testing.
In cases where paternity is in dispute for child support purposes, an application can be made for the parties to be ordered to attend DNA testing with the child. If one party fails or refuses to attend, an inference can be made that they are in fact the biological parent of the child and can be assessed to pay child support.